Thursday, April 13, 2006

Uighur facing torture and execution in China

An ethnic Uyghur who once fled China and now has Canadian citizenship, Huseyn Jalil, has been arrested in Uzbekistan.

The man's wife, Komila Telindiyeva, said her husband was arrested March 27 in Tashkent on the basis of Kyrgyz and Chinese Interpol warrants.

Sarvar Usmon, a relative, told RFE/RL's Uzbek Service that Jalil was once an imam in China's western Xinjiang region. He now faces possible extradition to China.

"I have spoken to his wife recently. As far as I know, officials in Tashkent are now waiting for some document from Beijing. And only after they get that document will his fate be decided. Primarily, Huseyn Jalil was an imam in East Turkestan. Soon after, he started an ideological fight for the independence of East Turkestan."

Some Muslim Uyghurs -- the majority in Xinjiang region -- are seeking an independent state they call "East Turkestan."

An official from the Canadian Embassy in Moscow said officials are working on the matter.

The man's relatives are concerned he faces possible torture and execution if he's extradited to China.

The Chinese authorities continue to pressure other countries to prevent political activities by Uighur asylum-seekers and refugees, and to return them to China. If forcibly returned to China those who are suspected of involvement in “separatist, terrorist or illegal religious activities” are at risk of serious human rights violations.

The fate of Muhammed Tohti Metrozi remains unknown.

Muhammed Tohti Metrozi fled the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region (XUAR) of northwest China to seek refuge in Pakistan. A pro-independence activist and a member of the Uighur ethnic minority, he had spent two months in detention in China on suspicion of “separatist” activity. While in detention, he reported, he was beaten with wooden sticks.

Muhammed was accepted as a refugee by United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees UNHCR, and was awaiting resettlement to Sweden in July 2003 when he reportedly went to meet a Pakistani government official.

He has not been seen since.

Reportedly, Muhammed was forcibly returned to China, where he was detained. According to some reports, he was tried on charges relating to his application for refugee status and his work helping Uighur refugees in Pakistan.

Muhammed’s case is typical of several Uighurs thought to have been forcibly returned to China from neighbouring countries in recent years.

The Chinese government appears to be using the international “war on terror” as a pretext to gain international support for its policies of repression of the mainly Muslim Uighur minority.

Any Uighur suspected of involvement in “separatist” activity and returned to China is at risk of serious human rights violation, including arbitrary detention, unfair trials, torture, and even execution.

The Chinese government uses "separatism, terrorism or religious extremism" (the three evils) to refer to a broad range of activities, which are often no more than peaceful opposition or dissent, or the peaceful exercise of the right to freedom of religion.


Blogger Cavmi said...

The Chinese Government doesn’t want to allow any kind of chance of Democracy. Unfortunately these people won’t get the independence due to the communist dictatorship of China!

10:20 AM  

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